Doughnuts and Kings


The light always caught me off guard
when we’d stumble in at 3am with silk screen eyes 
and half empty stomachs filled with Gatorade and bottom shelf vodka
bought from Plaid down the block 
where we would spend money on Doritos, 
and Rainier and Rips 
with eyes that twinkled in glory 

Mr. Ly, 
at least that’s what I think his name was 
because that was the name of the store on the corner next to a Subway and a smoke shop, that I don’t think had a name and was just called Smoke Shop, 
where he sold doughnuts that glistened in a dim white light 
like beacons calling us home 

we’d go in and we’d be greeted by a soft face and warm eyes 
which would lead to small talk about our families 
or about his son — who was eight 
or about school 
and would end with an order of half-a-dozen 
or a dozen 
or maybe two 
where one of us would be too drunk to stand upright 
but a booth would always be welcome 
and free doughnuts would always be given 

I drove by the other day and the store’s closed now 
I never asked Mr. Ly if that was his name 
we assumed it was because that was the name of the store 
but he might have been someone of a different name 
whom we never met, 
who owned a store in the city where we were king 
where at 3am we would smoke blunts and share juuls and shotgun beers until the world was upside down and we were on top
as he made doughnuts 
and his son 
played his gameboy in the back


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